Egypt refuses to open civilian corridor out of Gaza – Reuters
Egypt rejects any moves to create safe corridors for Gaza refugees, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing security sources. Cairo has nevertheless discussed the possibility of providing humanitarian aid to the Palestinian enclave along with the US and other countries, the agency reported.
According to Reuters' sources, Egypt, Qatar, Türkiye and the US have discussed the option of sending humanitarian aid through the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula under a geographically limited ceasefire.
One of the Egyptian officials told Reuters that Cairo has rejected the idea of opening safe corridors for civilians fleeing the strip to protect “the right of Palestinians to hold on to their cause and their land.” The outlet mentioned that Egypt has long restricted the flow of Gazans into its territory, even during the fiercest conflicts.
Egypt often becomes a key player in mediating the conflict between neighboring Israel and Palestine. On Tuesday, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said he hoped for a solution through negotiations that would “lead to a just peace and the establishment of a Palestinian state.”
For Gazans, the Rafah border crossing with Sinai is the only way to leave the enclave, as the rest of it is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea and Israel, which has announced a total blockade of the strip.
According to Reuters sources, the Rafah crossing was closed on Wednesday morning after Egyptian warplanes patrolled the area overnight. On the same day, Al Jazeera reported that Israeli airstrikes had hit the Rafah border three times in 24 hours.
On Saturday, Hamas, a Palestinian militant group that controls much of the Gaza Strip, started Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, launching rockets and sending commandos deep into Israeli territory. In response, the Israel Defense Forces dropped bombs on Gaza and cut off the densely populated Palestinian enclave’s water and electricity.